Monday, September 24, 2012

Put legal notices online

A bit of the comics made the front of the opinion section of the daily newspaper on Sunday.

And no, I'm not talking about the essay on Mormonism.

The paper's editor tried to make the case that legal notices should remain in the daily and not online.

Well, duh.

The paper makes a killing publishing legal notices, particularly these last few years when foreclosures and defaults flooded the classified section.

This helped the daily offset the tremendous loss in classified advertising that it suffered when took almost all of that business away.

The editor claims that many people in rural areas don't have access to the internet so therefore legal notices should remain in the paper because an informed citizenry is vital to the state.

But not that informed, because the daily was able to force the local weekly to stop printing legal notices because the newspaper industry helped write the law that keeps this cash cow in daily newspapers.

Almost all of the daily's readership in Central Oregon has access to high-speed internet either at home or on their smart phones.

Craigslist proved that people in Central Oregon prefer the online way to buy and sell things because it's free.

It seems quite obvious that people, particularly those who've endured bankruptcy, divorce or foreclosure, would rather not have that sensitive information published three times in the paper. Adding insult to injury, they have to pay for that public humiliation.

Of course, if notices go online, they'll still likely have to pay, but lawyers or banks would profit and not the newspaper.

In yet another way, the internet is transforming our lives. It will continue to do so for years to come.

There are winners and losers.

The newspaper industry will lose this battle because it makes no sense not to put legal notices online.

That being said, I do enjoy the comics in the paper.

No comments:

Post a Comment